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Team Navy Road to the Warrior Games Featured Sport: Swimming

WASHINGTON -- In this series, we will explore each of the twelve sports that will be featured during the Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games: archery, cycling, field, golf, indoor rowing, powerlifting, shooting (precision air sports), sitting volleyball, swimming, track, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby.

Swimming was one of the original Paralympic sports and has grown into the second-most popular in terms of TV viewers. The Paralympic pool measures the same length as the Olympic pool, at 50m in length and 25m wide.

Swimming requires speed, strength and immense determination of its athletes.


From the explaining the difference between road and track cycling to the sport’s origin, here is a list of four facts to know.

  1. Sport Origin: Paralympic swimming is a variation of the sport of swimming that allows athletes with disabilities to compete against each other. Like many of its counterparts, swimming developed from rehabilitation into a high-performance sport practiced around the globe by athletes with a physical, visual or intellectual impairment. 
  2. Paralympic History: Swimming was one of eight original sports at the first Paralympic Games during 1960 Games in Rome, Italy, and now is one of the most popular sports. The USA’s, Trischa Zorn is the sport’s most decorated Paralympian, having won 32 gold, 9 silver and 5 bronze medals between 1980 and 2004.
  3. Warrior Games Competition Style: During the Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games, the swimming competition is composed of five major events: the 50M freestyle, 100M freestyle, the 50M backstroke, 100M breaststroke, and 200M relay race. Athletes may compete is all four individual events. Relay Teams are comprised of four athletes with team composition determined by a classification number/point-based total. Athletes may compete as a member of only one relay team. Apart from the Combined Gender Relay Team, male and female athletes compete separately in all competitions. 
  4. Cycling Classification: Sport classification is a system that provides a level playing field for athletes competing in adaptive sports. The DoD Warrior Games will offer four individual competitions, with thirteen classification categories, two male relay teams, two female relay teams, and one combined gender relay team.
  5. Different Starts: There’s all sorts of starts during para swimming meets. Some swimmers do the traditional dive start off the block. A dive start can also be done with varying degree of sitting or standing. Swimmers can also place themselves into the water or are lifted in for a water start off the wall. Even some swimmers will tie a short rope to the blocks and, using their mouths, lift themselves out of the water for their start. The start position depends on the individual swimmer and what style works best for them.
  6. Health & Fitness Facts About Swimming: At any level, swimming can be a great way to stay healthy for individuals ranging from beginners to advance swimmers.
    • In one hour, swimming can burn up to 40% more calories than biking and up to 30% more than running.
    • Swimming strengths the heart and lungs.
    • Benjamin Franklin invented swim fins to help move through the water more efficiently.
    • breaststroke is the oldest known type of swimming stroke.
    • The first swimming races were held in Japan in 36 BC.

Follow along on Team Navy's Road to the Warrior Games on the official Team Navy webpageFacebook, and Instagram, and join us in cheering for the team at the DoD Warrior Games!


Article originally published on July 19, 2021 | Story by Megan Trexler | Commander, Navy Installations Command


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